Since that time, Ratibor has become a very close friend of mine and we talk coffee weekly. I visit Panama at least once per year and spend tons of time with Ratibor, his wife Tessie and the rest of the Hartmann crew. Since 2011, every time I see them, I learn about a major change or improvement to their farm. Some of these changes are at the agricultural level – varieties, farm management, new land, new plantings; while others are at the processing level – modified processing methods, new drying processes, and dark rooms.
This coffee is from one of these changes. In 2015, Ratibor and Tessie purchased land in the region of Pozos. They called this farm “Mi Finquita”, Spanish for My Little Farm. This region has been growing under the radar for the past few years, Ratibor describes it as the perfect place for coffee – clearly many agree with him. This region is the fastest growing coffee region in Panama and was first proven to be amazing by farms such as Ninety Plus Gesha Estates and Finca Deborah.
Ratibor and Tessie planted Caturra, Bourbon, Geisha and Typica at Mi Finquita and the farm began producing in 2020 and the coffee is amazing. Their Geisha, which they have called “Golden Beetle” won third place in the 2021 Best of Panama competition – in just its first year of production! In 2022, he once again placed fourth in BOP with the same coffee! I have tasted the coffees from this farm for the past three years and the upwards trajectory for all the coffees is insane.
This coffee is 100% bourbon and it’s processed using a unique preparation. The coffee is anaerobically fermented for 36 hours in plastic bags. Then it was de-pulped and put into plastic tanks where it was submerged in honey during its fermentation. The idea behind honey is that, as coffee ferments, sugars are consumed and the honey acts as an agent for additional sugar required by the fermentation and helps preserve more sugars in the coffee. The coffee was then fully washed and dried on raised beds.
The coffee is sweet, complex and a bit funky. When I tasted it with him, it stood out in the cupping table and both of us picked it as one of the favourites from the harvest.